Merry Christmas 2013


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I hope everyone is having a fabulous Christmas.  my life of course is never without its adventures. And while last year I was on a cruise ship in the Caribbean this year found me spending Christmas eve by the side of the freeway.

I had gotten tickets for my mom, her husband and myself to see the Frozen Disney Show at the El Capitan in Hollywood.  I decided to take my pink van and leave early because the bookcase I had on lay away was ready to be picked up.  So as I am talking to my mom I hear this really loud strange noise. I tell my mom I have to get off the phone and sure enough my car was dying.  I was driving on the 14 Freeway south from Palmdale which is basically driving through the desert and no mans land.  But hey I’m not worried I have AAA.  I call AAA and get a dispatcher that can not understand what I am telling her or the location of where I am at. I have to repeat the information to her quite a few times.  I was told that the tow truck would  be arriving in about 30-45 minutes which is the usual. No biggie I thought to myself I’ll just put on my make-up while I am waiting. Make-up is finished, kind of that scary old lady make-up put on in  a car type of thing but still no tow truck.  No biggie I’ll just do my Christmas cards for my niece and nephew while I am waiting.  Christmas cards done and an hour later still no tow truck so I call AAA to get an update and I am told the dispatcher called a tow truck company in the wrong city and another truck was being dispatched which should arrive in 30 minutes.

30 minutes!!!!!!  You have got to be friggin’ kidding me.  I have been waiting on the shoulder of the freeway for an hour and it was now 2:30 pm and the tickets were for the 4:00 pm show. Now the anxiety is beginning to kick in.  Well I have to get dressed in the van as I was losing time now.  I had worn jeans and a t-shirt out the door because I was supposed to be getting the bookcase.  No biggie, I thought to myself. I have changed in and out of costumes by the sides of roads many times in career as a kids entertainer today would be no different.  I am all made up, Christmas cards have been done, and I am wearing my Christmas clothes and still no tow truck.  I call AAA to get another update, this time the driver was told I was off the freeway and he took a different route via the streets.  I’m like no I have been on the shoulder of the freeway for the past hour and a half.  Look for the bright pink van–you can’t miss it.  It felt like an eternity waiting for that tow truck to arrive.

Finally it arrived–what a relief!!!  We made it to the show by 3:45 pm, just enough time to park, get pop-corn and go to the ladies room.  The evening was cut short because now I needed to get a ride back home.  So I will see my sister’s kids on Sunday as I got tickets for all of us to see the ice sculpture exhibit and winter village at the Queen Mary as their Christmas gift.

Seriously I can not wait for 2013 to be over.  I can not believe all that I have gone through in one year.  It’s time for a new start and new beginnings.

Below are a couple of pictures of Christmas in my home and me at Frozen.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

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Christmas Caribbean Cruise…Part 8 George Town, Grand Cayman


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The second stop on the cruise was George Town, Grand Cayman.  Father Tom and I had convinced Josh and Sara to join us on the excursion we were taking.  Below is the description in the brochure.

Island Tour & Tiki Beach –

OVERVIEW: Enjoy the best of Grand Cayman with an island tour as well as time at Seven Mile Beach. HIGHLIGHTS: Enjoy an island tour that includes the Observation Tower with its panoramic views of Grand Cayman and stops at Hell to view the jagged rock formations and the rum cake factory to sample some delicious rum cake. Your tour concludes at Tiki Beach on Seven Mile Beach to relax or take a swim. A lounge chair and a welcome rum/fruit punch are included. The facilities include toilets, changing rooms and fresh water showers. NOTES: Additional beach activities available at guest’s expense and discretion. Snacks and drinks are available at a beach restaurant at your expense.
Because this port of call was so small we had to get into a smaller boat to get to the port.  Once at port we were going to get into a small tour bus.  Well there was some kind of problem with a bus being broken down so people were getting re-arranged into the buses that were present.  So basically our bus was filled to capacity like sardines with no breathing space.  This was not an issue for our little group of four because we managed to get good seats.
The first stop, at least I think it was the first stop was the Rum Cake Factory. Ahemmm.  When I was a young girl and visiting my homeland of Puerto Rico we did the Barcardi Rum Factory Tour, in which we got to see the inside of the factory and the whole process of making rum and it was quite interesting.  So I imagined this tour would be something similar.  Ahemmmm.
Well not so much.  The rum cake factory was no more than a small storefront in which they had everyone line up and you get to sample the rum cakes, which were yummy and I would have bought one but they did not have the flavor I wanted and some rum.  Well, since I already had my Jamaican Coconut Rum no need to purchase any more.  Here are some of the pictures I took on that bit of the tour.  There is more of the tour past the pictures.
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We never did make it to the Observation Tower, which I imagined would be a nice place to stop and take pictures.  Actually there was a bit of dissention in the group regarding that stop. I believe the stop where the Tower was located was near a shopping center but most of the shops were closed because it was “Box Day“–I believe this is a U.K. holiday, the day after Christmas. So the driver convinced the bus load that maybe we shouldn’t stop.  Well, I looked out the bus window and there was a very pretty park and bay–so who cares if the stores were open–I didn’t come to shop I came to look at the scenery. So, I am like excuse me but I think we should take a vote on this and be democratic.  Huh, well wouldn’t you know it no one, not even my tour buddies raised their hands to support me.  I was so pissed.  Well, the next part I don’t really remember the exact words but apparently I was so pissed that I said something along the lines of God-karma- and putting a curse on everyone.  So, we don’t get off the bus–mind you some of the people are squished like sardines so I would have thought that a bit of leg stretching would have been in order.
Well, there is a God and there is karma because we could not continue to the next destination spot because all of the drivers were on a schedule to make sure not one venue gets over crowed.  So instead of stopping by the bay for about 10-15 we all got to sit in a hot bus with no air conditioning while the driver stops in front of this pink house and starts to talk about the wood on the roof, the white sand that was brought on the lawn to simulate snow or some such cockamaney story–the bottom line was we were trapped sitting on the hot bus listening to some boring story because no one had wanted to get off at the bay.  Yes, sir I would say that is instant karma.
The next stop was Hell.  No, seriously that was the name of the town.

Hell, Grand Cayman

Hell, Grand Cayman island

Hell’s Gift Shop, Hell, Grand Cayman island

Hell’s Service Station, Hell, Grand Cayman island

Hell is a group of short, black, limestone formations located in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. Located in West Bay, it is roughly the size of half a soccer field. People are not allowed to be amongst the limestone formations but viewing platforms do exist for visitors.

Hell got its name

There are numerous versions of how Hell received its name, but they are generally variations on “a local official exclaimed, ‘This is what Hell must look like.'”

It is also claimed that the name “Hell” is derived from the fact that if a pebble is thrown out into the formation, it echoes amongst the limestone peaks and valleys and sounds as if the pebble is falling all the way down to “Hell.”

Regardless of how it first came to be called Hell, the name stuck and the area has become a tourist attraction, featuring a fire-engine red hell-themed post office from which you can send “postcards from hell”, and a gift shop with ‘Satan’ passing out souvenirs while greeting people with phrases like ‘How the hell are you?’ and ‘Where the hell are you from?’[1][2]

Below are my pictures of Hell.  The story continues past the pictures…

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L to R, Sara, Tom and Josh

The last stop on the tour was the beach–yeah finally!!!!  It was beautiful and uneventful.  Of course the talk at dinner that night was a recap of the day and how I cursed a bus-load of people because they didn’t want to get off of the bus.

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Christmas Caribbean Cruise 2012….Part 5


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The next morning I got up early to have breakfast, check out and start my cruise adventure.  I was told to be at the port by 12:30 pm to check in.

Checking in was quite a lengthy process and I am glad that I got there early.

Of course as you are boarding the ship you stop to have an official picture taken.  And no I did not buy the picture.

Luggage can take up to three hours after boarding to arrive to the state-room.  I was given an inside state–no port-hole, no window–oh this is going to be fun I thought–I am claustrophobic.  I highly recommend if you are taking a cruise to get a state-room preferably with a balcony but if not at least a port-hole.

This is what my room looked like but was not my actual room I took of off the cruise’s website.

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(I think they used a lens with a long depth of field because this picture makes the room look bigger than it actually was.)

Those first three hours before the ship departed everyone was just running around like little ants discovering the in’s and out’s of the ship.  I was also waiting for my face painting schedule so that I could arrange the other activities that I wanted to do on the ship.  At some point an envelope arrived with my schedule and a meeting with my contact person on the ship.  I was to do five 2 hour face painting sessions while the ship was sailing.  When docked at port no face painting, however as I looked at the schedule I was set to work Christmas Morning.  Seriously, that was the day the ship docked in Jamaica and I had already booked my excursions via the T.V. hook-up in my room (seriously I was not about to stand in a long line to book anything).  I didn’t say anything at the meeting, since it was my first trip and did not want to make a fuss on the first day before the ship even left the dock.  Yes, Ivonne was displaying quite a bit of self-control here.

After that meeting it was dinner time.  I went back to the room to get dressed for dinner as I had the early seating at 6:00  PM and I was excited to see who my dinner companions would be for the next week.

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Albert & his daugher                                      Josh & Sarah

 

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Tom

The first night was  casual dress for dinner.  We all introduced ourselves. My dinner companions were a lovely young married couple, Josh and Sarah, Albert and daughter and yes there was one single man seated at my table.  His name was Tom.  Tom was a Catholic Priest but he was dressed normal.  The first words out of my mouth to him were, “I don’t know if you supposed to save me or if I am going to take you down the road to perdition”……………. to be continued……

Here are some pictures I took of the ship.

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Christmas Caribbean Cruise 2012 part 3


 

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The plane landed at Louis Armstrong International airport somewhere around 9:00 am and boy was I so happy to be getting off of that plane.  Granted I was being a baby it was only like a five hour flight and compared to 24 hours flying into Malaysia or Europe really a piece of cake.

All of my pink luggage and my guitar had arrived safely I grabbed one of those luggage cart thingeys and headed straight for the taxi line. Hotel check in was technically at 3:00 pm in the afternoon but I had booked my reservation to start the previous night so I could just arrive in the morning and check in without a problem.  For the one night I was staying at the O’Keeffe Plaza Hotel. in downtown New Orleans.

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When I arrive the front lobby is being remodeled.  There is no furniture and tiles on the floor are being torn up and replaced.  There are about three work guys making a lot of ruckus and noise.  There were no bellman, not sure why but I guess for only paying $115.00 for two nights I guess it was self-serve time.  I got a rickety bell cart upon which to put all my luggage and the guitar and the laptop computer and made my way to the room which was simple and looked clean.

I set-up the laptop checked emails and called my mom to let her know that I had made it to the hotel.  Then it was time for a short nap before I started exploring New Orleans.

After the nap the first thing on my priority list was to find an inexpensive bag of some sort that I could use for a carry on for the return flight home.  I scored!! I found a very large black duffel bag on sale for $12.99 in some souvenir shop on Canal St.  I was a happy camper.

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I started exploring Canal st which goes all the way down to waterfront.

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I almost did a dinner cruise on this riverboat but after spending a week on a boat opted not to.

I found myself at the Water Front Market Place in New Orleans.  Here are some of the pictures that I took on that day.  Enjoy!!!!

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Christmas 2012 on a Caribbean Cruise…Part 1


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I believe it was sometime last May 2012 when I received an e-mail stating that there was a face-painter opening for a cruise departing from New Orleans to the Western Caribbean. About the same time the shit was hitting the fan with Jay Scott Berry and I decided I needed something happy to look forward to. I tried to book this trip the year prior but somebody else beat me out. The way this company works you and a guest for $40.00 a night plus face painting sessions get to take the cruise.  Not a bad deal if you are bringing someone and like cruises.  I had never been on a cruise so I had no idea if I would  like it or not. But my friend Lisa, may god rest her soul did about 4 of these cruises and she loved them. And New Orleans was on my bucket list-so why not I thought.

I tracked the weather in New Orleans and it was on average about 10 degrees colder than where I live so totally doable. I booked myself on a flight that arrived one day before the cruise departed as I wanted a buffer day in case my luggage got lost and the returning flight I booked for New Years Day so I could spend 3 days and New Years Eve in New Orleans.

My next door neighbors teenage daughter was going to take care of my two kitties and Missy would be at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, where she is spoiled and does things she does not do at home.

lens17839579_1302580231pink-suitcaseI of course travel with pink luggage. Seriously did anyone think it would be a different color.  This trip I decided to use the large suitcase, which I have never used ( and know I know why I don’t) before because I had to pack winter clothes for New Orleans and summer clothes, in addition to formal wear for the cruise.

Yes, you get a big list of do’s and don’ts when you take one of these cruises as you are considered a representative of the company.  They stress how you must always look upscale and never wear shorts on the cruise. Of course that meant I needed matching shoes and of course I needed my face painting supplies as well.  I decided I would take my face paints in my carry on because God forbid something should happen and where would I be without my face paints.  Since this was my first time I wanted to make a good impression.  I packed my brushes, glitter, stick on jewels, sponges, glitter gel you name it-everything I needed to make little kids fantasy face dreams come true.

Of course December thankfully is a busy month for my business and what with school and finals it did not give me a lot of time to pre-pack as I like to do before a trip.  I even wanted to clean my home a bit as my next door neighbor is one of those clean freaks and I did not want her daughter to go back home and say what a mess I left the place in.

I departed on Dec 21 coming back home on Jan 1 2013.  Yes, I was forgoing Christmas with the family.  a conscius choice as I could not deal with yet another phony Christmas–maybe I’ll do a post about that someday.

So I have my large suitcase, my small carry on size one, a purse, and my guitar.  Yes, I brought the guitar assuming I would have time to practice my guitar.  And I figured the ship must have a piano somewhere on the ship that I could practice on while I was away.

I put my luggage on the bathroom scale and according to it the large suitcase only weighed about 37 lbs–awesome I thought as the weight limit for the airlines was 50 lbs.

I was departing FRiday at 1 am so I arrived with luggage and Missy sometime on Thursday afternoon to my moms’.  But we still had to get the costumes for the weekend all set before I left.  To say that it was a hectic day is an understatement.  My mom lifted my large suitcase to put into the van.  Yes, I know my mother is 71 however she is under the impression that she is the only one that knows how to put a suitcase into the car as she travels back and forth to Puerto Rico at least 4 times a year.  The first thing she says is that the suitcase weighs too much. I tell it doesn’t I weighed it on the scale at home.

Well it was time to head to the airport.  I said my good-byes to Missy and gave her lots of kisses. That is the one thing about traveling that I don’t like, having to leave Missy behind.  And once the puppies arrive I guess I won’t be going anywhere for a while.

We get to the airport to check in.  As luck would have there wasn’t a line and hardly anyone at the airport.  They check in the guitar and then we put the large suitcase  on the airline scale thingy.  I am 20 lbs over weight–that will be an extra $100.00–what.   And of course there is my mother saying, ” I told you so!”  Really this was not the moment to be smug. It is suggested that I remove items and the woman at the counter says she has to check on something and will be back.

Well, like I said earlier it was quite the blessing that the airport was not busy because there and then I am now opening the large suitcase to see what weighs the most that I can take out.  Now normally I have my backpack that I use as my carry on because it can hold a lot of items including my laptop and I have a purse.  Yeah no back pack this time.  I sent my mother and her husband back to the car because I thought I saw a bag that I could use.

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Out comes the music binder–hand that to my mom.  I only keep a few pages of practice music.  The roll up keyboard for the lap top comes out.  Three pairs of 4 inch heels come out of the suitcase I will carry those on. The power strip comes out-that goes to my mom.  Oh yes, the extra sweater I put on, the suit coat from my new just had to have tuxedo got put on, along with the coat I was already wearing.  The electric throw blanket–that I had to have because I can’t stand to get into a cold bed even in the summer I decided to carry that on and hope TSA does not stop me ( the wires in the blanket).  Seriously it looked a scene from a bad comedy.

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I am trying to ignore my mother as she goes on and on about how we should have weighed the luggage and how much she knows about traveling and that I don’t’ need three pairs of 4 inch heels or so much clothes for just a ten day trip blah blah blah. My focus was did I get rid of the excess 20 lbs.  The carry on with the face paints now had to be checked in the russian roulette game of re-do the packing on the floor of Los Angeles International Airport.

Mission accomplished but now there was another woman at the counter and a line was beginning to form. She spoke Spanish my mother spoke spanish and said something to her in Spanish about how she tried to tell me about weight.  Oh just for information’s sake I am not a first time traveler.  I have been to Jamaica 4 times, 3 times by my self, I have been to Europe as well two times by myself and of course there was the glorious life changing trip to Malaysia.  However my mother is under the impression that she is a more seasoned traveler than I am. But I have to admit her talking to the woman in Spanish got my luggage clearance.  The problem wound up being that the women who had walked away had already charged me the $100.00 fee-possibley it was for the guitar?!!  Seriously, if I had been told the guitar was going to cost $100.00 that too would have been going back home with mom.

Finally got all checked in made it through security and finally at the gate.  Of course I had to call my mother and let her know I made it safely to the gate.  You just never know when a hijacker might just randomly take a hostage at the airport.

And that is how I started the Christmas Holiday whose purpose was to help me clear my head of the magician and get on with life….to be continued……

Happy New Year!!!!


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First of all I hope you all had a Merry Christmas.  I was on a cruise face painting over the holiday but no decent cheap internet access–hence why it seemed like I may have disappeared off of the face of the earth.

I have internet but not my regular computer–so I will resume regular blogging in a few days.

Second- I have been nominated for a couple of awards by vagendavixen.wordpress.com and radaronelson .   Thank you, yes I accept them and will do my duties as soon as I get back on track.

Third- I wanted to have completed the Jay Scott Berry Saga by the end of 2012 but no internet for the past 8 days changed that.

What follows in the series is the rest of Back in Los Angeles, Scandal in Malaysia, and What Happens Next?, and NPD.

Then I will blog about my cruise and who I met on the cruise and my time in the Caribbean and in New Orleans.

Until then I am wishing you all a very Happy New Year!!!!!

May 2013 brings us all closer to our dreams and our passions!!!!

I love you all!!!!!!

 

Ivonne

xoxoxo

The Beach…….


I really cannot write about journey in this space-time without doing a post on the beach..my mistress…my love…my divine consort.

If I were to become one with the world I would most certainly be a part of the soul-fabric that is the beach.  When I think of beach what comes to mind are the white sandy beaches and the warm, crystal clear turquoise Caribbean waters of my childhood.  The Caribbean where every day is a perfect day for the beach.  That is the definition of beach for my–my idealized beach.

But really I am a happy camper in most beaches—all that is needed is sand, the ocean and a blazing sunset.  Sunset is my favorite part of the day–I am quite partial to those-pink-purple-gold sunsets that bathe us in resplendent awe.

I feel God when I am at the beach.  And the sunset is God reaching out to hug the world in colorful radiance.  The sound of the tide coming and going, waves crashing are music to my ears.  The smell of the ocean breeze renews me and brings me to life.

 

I got married at the beach.  I did ritual to Yemaya to call forth a soul mate at the beach.  Yemaya, is the Yoruba goddess of love and fertility and she is depicted as a mermaid.  She is one of my spirit guides.  The beach calls out to me–singing her song hypnotically as no other.  Maybe I was a mermaid in a past life, but answer the call I must.

I dream of having a home on the beach that I might live every day with my mistress and make her my lover, my divine consort.  For now I have to suffice with being seven blocks away.  I breathe in her perfume as I walk my dog each night under the silver moonlight.

The beach-God-life-peace-beauty-love are all the same word to my soul.

The beach, she is my mistress and I must answer her call to honor her as my lover in the twilight, in sunset and under the velvet sky with moonbeams illuminating the face of my beloved–I await him as I call out to Yemaya, mother of the sea to bring my beloved to me……..

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